The Midwest?

Thread Starter


Joined Jun 4, 2014
Why is the Midwest so named and not as previously north central?
From Wiki: The Midwestern United States, often referred to simply as the Midwest, is one of four census regions of the United States Census Bureau. It occupies the northern central part of the United States. It was officially named the North Central Region by the Census Bureau until 1984.


Joined Jan 18, 2008
America (United States) began as a group of colonies on the Eastern seaboard. Ohio was considered "West." In fact, it was recognized as the Western Reserve of Connecticut.* That is, land for the eventual expansion of Connecticut ( ). That name persists to this day on Ohio. Then the Louisiana Purchase ( ) made a new Western border, and so forth as American grew West.

The simple answer is that today, Midwest is an official term used by our census bureau ( The geography is distinguished as being mostly flat or low hills grazing and farmland ( ). St. Louis calls itself the "Gateway to the West" as it was a major departure point for settlers moving West. As a piece of trivia, Pittsburgh calls itself the Gateway to the Midwest.

*I've known Bostonians who considered anything West of the Charles River as "West" and somewhat less civilized -- at least jokingly.